Colorado Medicaid Cuts Some Services For Developmentally Disabled

"Cuts to Medicaid benefits for hundreds of developmentally disabled people in Colorado take effect today, a move that will be devastating, caretakers and advocates say," The Gazette reports. "Annual payments for services such as transportation and work programs are being cut by at least half for about 700 Coloradans with developmental disabilities ... Others will lose a lesser percentage, but some stand to gain financial assistance, said Timothy Hall, deputy executive director for veterans and disability services for the Colorado Department of Human Services."

"The change was set into motion by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, which required that Colorado's reimbursement system be standardized after an audit found discrepancies in how Medicaid dollars were being spent." A new model "bases benefits on a person's level of disability" and "places limitations and caps on spending" (Kelley, 6/30).

Colorado also "recovered more than $5.3 million in fraud settlements and restitution during the fiscal year ended June 30," according to Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, the Denver Business Journal reports. "The sum represented the most money the office has recovered since 1983" (6/30).

In Louisiana, "Private health-care providers who treat Louisiana’s poor are facing a $180 million cut in the government health insurance program that pays them," The Associated Press/Alexandria Town Talk reports. "The amount is far less than originally expected. But the cut’s impact will be hard to measure until the state Department of Health and Hospitals drafts new rules" (7/1).

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